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Passion for Triathlon Growing, According to New Participant Study


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Study reveals significant growth and spending on the sport despite economic climate

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A new study initiated by USA Triathlon has revealed exciting new data on the demographics and spending habits of multisport athletes in the United States.

USAT and the TribeGroup – who conducted the market research study – released the executive summary of the findings this week.

The Mind of the Triathlete study was conducted in October and November 2008 and is the first of its kind to provide a deep analysis and segmentation of the triathlete among new participants and long -time veterans. More than 15,000 triathletes gave an average of 20 minutes describing their experiences, lifestyle, habits and backgrounds.

“When we agreed to exclusively partner with TribeGroup on the study, we weren’t sure what exactly the data would show since we hadn’t updated anything since 2000. We were pleased with the job they have done and are more optimistic now than ever about the future of triathlon and the ability of USAT to continue to improve the experience of members and the community at large,” said Tim Yount, USAT senior vice president for marketing and communications.
The study grouped participants into seven distinct segments according to similarities in their demographics, psychographics and involvement in the sport. On average, triathletes are from high socio-economic backgrounds with median incomes of $126,000, however, their motivators and mindset are different, creating a significant opportunity for the triathlon community to serve them better and in more targeted ways. Unlike many consumers, they are spending cautiously but on average intend to spend as much in 2009 as they did in 2008. In fact, 45 percent would rather spend discretionary income on triathlon with three of seven segments exceeding 65 percent and one nearly 80 percent.

“What is remarkable is the incredible passion of triathletes no matter what the economy is doing. They are increasing participation both in the numbers of races and those moving up in distance. The results and incredible willingness of the athletes to tell us what makes them tick is a testament to how much they want the sport to grow and the unmet needs or concerns they have,” said Jolene Moore, director of sales for TribeGroup. “The opportunities for sponsors, race directors and suppliers to tailor offerings and strategies in this time of limited budgets is clear.”  

Download a free summary of the Mind of the Triathlete study.

Download the full study, which includes more than 70 pages of analysis and charts, as well as additional cross tabs, in PDF format:

Mind of the Triathlete Part 1

Mind of the Triathlete Part 2

Mind of the Triathlete Part 3

Mind of the Triathlete Part 4

Find out more about USA Triathlon membership and the growth of the sport over the past decade by visiting the USA Triathlon Demographics webpage.

To learn more about the TribeGroup and their services, e-mail them at or call (877) 716-9422.

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon – the fastest growing sport in the world – as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,500 races and connects with more than 110,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games.